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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Self Check-out

Self check-out at the public library, at the grocery store: it works pretty well these days. So why not give it a try in your school library?

Kids feel a stronger sense of ownership when they scan a barcode and check the screen at each beep. Instead of handing over their book to someone else to take care of, they know they are responsible for their items.

Here is a photo of the lower grade check-out station. The computer is logged into Follett Destiny with a special user, "Self CO" that only allows simple transactions. Students are blocked if they have overdue materials or when they reach their 5 item limit. A librarian can override and continue check-out for the student.

Each class in first and second grade has a personally decorated shelf marker with name and a patron  barcode sticker. Once the books are checked out, the shelf marker goes back in the color-coded container.

Students have learned to use the date stamp without changing the date, even though it's tempting.

Our 3-5th grade students have their name and barcode on a separate page of the class book. Even though they know their library patron number by heart, scanning it instead of typing it prevents errors.

When a student is asked about an overdue book, we've noticed something new: instead of a blank stare and "I don't have that book," he or she is more likely to remember the transaction. Who knew that personal responsibility is such a pleasure to teach?